Helen Harris
  • The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education
  • Kensington Primary School
  • Newham, London

Helen Harris was nominated for truly embedding the phrase ‘people before paper’ and initiating a range of systems and practices that share the inclusion and development of SEND pupils and the staff that work with them.

Helen has developed an “Out and About” programme which helps children to develop life skills and gives pupils real-life experiences and opportunities to explore the world around them: children visit a post office and learn how letters are sorted and delivered; they take public transport and use maps to find their way and go on an outdoor adventure experience, zorbing, and zip-wiring their way through the day. She has developed a “Sensory Room” for children to use as a calming space; a space to feel free to do what they need to do to regulate their own emotions.

Helen has a saying that she uses often: “People before Paper.” This sums up her approach: it is one that always puts people first.